by Ihla Crowley
Don't Write Off Mexico
Just a few months ago, American travel to Mexico was booming, spurred by a strong U.S. dollar against the Mexican peso and a wave of American tourists who wanted to stay close to home. By February, the U.S. State Dept. issued a travel alert for Mexico, citing “increased violence near the U.S. border,” and the media was reporting growing violence between warring factions of Mexico’s drug cartels.
Boulder City Magazine®
|This has many travelers wondering: Is Mexico still safe for tourists? Many experts are saying yes.
In an April 10, 2009 article in The Wall Street Journal, a State Dept. spokeswoman reported, “Despite the travel alert, we are not advising people not to go to Mexico.” She added that the main areas of concern are cities and towns near the U.S. border.
The same WSJ article states, “Security experts say tourists can safely travel to Mexico if they stay within known resort areas, avoid traveling to Mexico by road, and steer clear of U.S. Border areas.”
See a pattern here? The key phrase is “border towns,” or “border areas.” Turns out 90% of the violence and resultant media coverage are concentrated in the towns along the Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California borders. This is where the drug cartels have their strongholds and, consequently, this is where the ‘gang wars’ are. If you decide to visit these border towns, then the odds of you being caught up in a violent act will go up considerably. The solution: Don’t visit the border towns! It’s that simple. Few violent incidents have been reported in Mexico’s primary tourism resorts, including the most popular cruise ports and cities with large concentrations of all-inclusive resorts.
To find out what is safe and what isn’t, check out the Mexico Tourism Board’s web site, Mexico-Update.com, which, among other things, has a map indicating which areas are included in the U.S. Government’s travel alert.
It never hurts to be cautious, whatever your travel destination, but many travel professionals agree, you cannot beat Mexico for a consistently great time and an equally great value for your vacation dollar… so don’t be too quick to write Mexico off!
For more travel tips and fun tourist destinations, check out www.driftersister.com.
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